Croatian Viewpoint
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All Things Come to Those Who Wait

"... the story of the Serbian-led aggression against Croatia is on record in the newspaper headlines below. I dedicate the story in these headlines to Croatian victims and defenders so that the world will remember what some authors and journalists would have us all forget."
Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were acquitted on 16 November 2012 after a successful appeal against their previous convictions at the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The return of the Generals Gotovina and Markac to Croatia as free men was immediately and widely publicized around the world on satellite television and in newspapers. For the innocent Croatian generals, who had been imprisoned at the ICTY for many years, pending a verdict, the old proverb comes to mind, that "all things come to those who wait".
When the Canadian national newspaper the Globe & Mail did not appear to report the ICTY Appeal news, in spite of the fact that other Canadian and world media had immediately reported it I was shocked as a Canadian-born citizen. After all most media reportage had been more than even-handed and had included both the Croatian response and the Serbian condemnation of the overturned verdict. And, just to illustrate the fact that the Globe & Mail does immediately notice what happens in Croatia it was quick to publish an article about the former Croatian PM Sanader's verdict for corruption a few days later!
Fortunately for me too, "all things come to those who wait". I watched the Globe & Mail website until they finally belatedly published news of the Croatian Appeal nearly two weeks after the fact. On the 28th November 2012 the Globe & Mail published the news of 16th November 2012. Referring to the news of the 16th November the author Dragan Todorovic in "This Hague ruling sets dangerous precedents" claims that a report from the ICTY on November 16th 2012 "could not get serious attention". Really? -- this was breaking news on BBC and subsequently a feature item on the news around the world.
How the ICTY was created, and why, is detailed in the depressing book written in 2000 by Carol Off "The Lion The Fox & The Eagle" which is in part devoted to "the Fox" Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie, and which discusses the failure of UNPROFOR and the creation of the UN ICTY to create justice. I describe Carol Off's book as depressing because it focuses on Bosnia and hardly mentions Croatia, especially in the index, which lists Vukovar to be in Bosnia.
In Canada Carol Off's book would undoubtedly be unpopular because Canada has enshrined the UN Peacekeepers in a monument, at the Canadian War Museum, and in Canadian institutions.
UN Peacekeeping Monument, Ottawa Canada
Ironically in Carol Off's book the same Canadian Globe & Mail newspaper features in the concluding chapter. On December 29, 1999 the Globe & Mail published an editorial entitled "The World is Developing a Conscience" in reference to the arrest of the Serbian General Galic for trial at the ICTY for responsibility for the long Serbian siege on Sarajevo. In this context, if one reads the Carol Off book in its entirety a reference to the JNA's bombing of Croatia is mentioned briefly page 204, "The JNA fought in Sarajevo as it had fought in Croatia, by lobbing hundreds of shells at a position ... before moving in."
The Serbian-led "JNA shelling" of Croatia was the topic of many newspaper headlines during 1991 in a collection of articles I still possess because, ironically, I was studying Yugoslavia at La Trobe University as Yugoslavia was breaking-up while the world watched the bombing of Croatian cities on the 6pm news each night. One of my professors was Robert Manne who strongly condemned the one-sided aggression against Croatia in an article in Melbourne's Herald-Sun entitled, "We Must Rescue Croatia: Will another six months of slaughter have to pass before serious action is taken by the West to force the Yugoslav Army out of Croatia?" (cited below).
The story of Serbian-led aggression against Croatia is on record in the newspaper headlines, many of which I cite below as part of this article for the record. I dedicate the story in these headlines to the Croatian victims and defenders so that the world will remember because judging by the reports of 16 November 2012 in the same newspapers 21 years later there are still many who would have the world forget what was written in the same newspapers 21 years earlier!
Since the year 2000 I have written about the indictments of the Croatian generals by the ICTY, even suggesting that the apparent ICTY 'equal guilt' culture was in effect putting the 'west'on trial. The indictments against individuals, whether aggressor or defender, was punishing the victims just as the UN Arms Embargo resolution had done, an embargo which had the unintended result of punishing unarmed civilians who were being bombed by the Serbian-ledYugoslav National Army, the third best equipped army in Europe at the time.
On 17 November 2012, the day after the release of the Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac, Mr Kehoe, Counselor for Ante Gotovina was reported in the Canadian Vancouver Sun newspaper: "the appeals judgment did not undermine the tribunal's credibility but in fact proved its impartiality" and Mr Kehoe agreed that the verdict was "a vindication for the rule of law and justice".
In conclusion, the headlines below are meant to form part of this article: what a story these headlines tell about the reason for a call for UN involvement and that the overwhelming guilt in this conflict was from the Serbian side.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
November 2012
The 1991 Headlines
"More dead in Croatia as truce is ignored" Herald-Sun Melbourne 11Sept1991
"EC observers 'fail' in Croatia" The Age Melbourne 14 Sept 1991
"Rebels tighten their grip on Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 15 Sept 1991
"Mortars pound key town" Sunday Age Melbourne 15 Sept 1991 (Osijek, Maslenica, Zadar, Krusevo)
"Army Slams Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16Sept1991 (Yugoslav jets, tanks & gunboats)
"Croat Port bombed in new offensive" The Age Melbourne 16 Sept 1991 (Ploce)
"West Condemns Yugoslavia as war escalates" The Australian Canberra 17 Sept 1991
"Croatia's main ports blockaded" The Age Melbourne 18 Sept 1991
(map inset: Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik)
"PM favors UN role in Yugoslavia" The Age Melbourne 18 Sept 1991 (Mr Hawke)
"Europe ready for refugee flood" Herald-Sun Early Edition Melbourne 19 Sept 1991
"Gunfire plunges a city into darkness" Herald-Sun Late Edition Melbourne 19 Sept 1991(Zagreb)
"Army accused of violating ceasefire" The Australian Canberra 19 Sept 1991
"Hungary protests as Serbs cut oil link" The Age Melbourne 19 Sept 1991
"Hawke call for UN intervention" The Age Melbourne 20 Sep t1991
"Federal army troops pour into Croatia" Weekend Australian Canberra 21-22 Sept 1991 (...Mr Hawke & Mr Mulroney agreed on a common aim of UN ...)
"EC shelves peace force plan" The Age Melbourne 21 Sept 1991
"Attack on Croatia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 21 Sept 1991
"Croatians agree to safeguard Serbs" Sunday Age Melbourne 22 Sept 1991 (in Croatia)
"Tanks circle Croat towns" Sunday Herald - Sun 22 Sept 1991 (Vukovar, Zadar, Sibenik, Split)
"Army ready to cut Croatia" Financial Review Canberra 23 Sept 1991
"Evans to urge UN role in Yugoslavia" The Age Melbourne 24 Sept 1991 (UN Security Counci-Austraila, Canada, Austria & Hungary for UN involvement)
"New world order at risk-Hawke" Herald-Sun Melbourne 24 Sept 1991
"UN move to block Yugoslav arms" The Age Melbourne 25 Sept 1991(Britain, France, Belgium seeking world arms embargo on Yugoslavia at UN; & Mesic at UN asks for international peacekeeping force)
"Killings continue amid peace moves" Guardian Weekly Manchester 27 Oct 1991 (400,000 refugees out of Croatia)
"Hungary bombed-cluster bomb drop an accident-Serbia" Herald-Sun Melbourne 30 Oct 1991 (also re siege on Dubrovnik)
"Troops poised to take historic city" The Age Melbourne 30 Oct 1991 ("EC threatens to use trade sanctions in Yugoslavia")
"Federal jets, tanks hit Vukovar in fierce attack" The Age Melbourne 31 Oct 1991
"Fighting worsens-Croats face air raids as death toll mounts" Herald-Sun Melbourne Early Edition 31 Oct 1991 (Dubrovnik)
"Yugoslav planes intensify bombing of Croatian towns" The Australia Canberra 31 Oct 1991 (Vukovar, Dubrovnik)
"Threat to cut Yugoslav oil" The Age Melbourne 1 Nov 1991 (Britain, Austria urge oil embargo)
"Croatia pounded as EC talks near" The Age Melbourne 4 Nov 1991
"Vukovar braces for final assault" The Australian Canberra 6 Nov 1991
"City's Royal Appeal-Save Dubrovnik mayor asks Prince" Herald-Sun Early Edition Melbourne 7 Nov 1991 (during Prince Charles' tour of Canada; & Serbs' 3rd rejection of EC Peace Plan)
"Air, sea forces in huge attack on Dubrovnik" The Age Melbourne 8 Nov 1991 (Croatian President Tudjman urges involvement of US 6th Fleet)
"Surrender, city told" Herald-Sun 8Nov1991 (Dubrovnik, Varazdin)
"EC imposes Yugoslav Sanctions" Weekend Australian Canberra 8-10 Nov 1991(total Yugoslav blockade of Croatia's ports, Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, Dubrovnik, by Yugoslav armed forces and Yugoslav Navy)
"Yugoslavia: US to apply sanctions, says Bush" The Age Melbourne 10 Nov 1991
"Army closes in on Croat cities" Herald-Sun Melbourne 12 Nov 1991
"EC team tries to flee Dubrovnik" The Australian Canberra 13 Nov 1991
"EC foreign ministers call for Security Council to intervene" The Australian Canberra 14 Nov 1991
"Hundreds flee as fire is held" Herald-Sun Melbourne 14Nov1991 (Dubrovnik; UN terms ... "The Serbs want the Peacekeepers inside Croatia to separate the warring sides. The Croats vowing not to cede territory despite losing one third of the Republic to Serbian forces in the war, insist Peacekeepers should be on the border with Serbia"
"Serbia, Croatia accept deployment of UN force" The Australian Canberra 15 Nov 1991 ("Dr Tudjman said after his talks with Lord Carrington in the Austrian town of Graz that he was prepared to accept the deployment of UN troops on the condition that federal army forces were withdrawn simultaneously from Croatia.
"In New York special UN envoy Mr Cyrus Vance said the UN should not send troops to Yugoslavia until a ceasefire was in effect.
"Mr Vance, addressing the Seccurity Council, cited five other conditions for the deployment of a buffer force.
"He said no peacekeeping troops should be sent until all respect the legal status of the UN force and it was given a clearly defined mandate, accepted by all parties.
"Other conditions were the willingness of member States to supply military personnel, constant UN pressure on the warring parties not to break the ceasefire and sufficient financial resources to Carry out the operation"
"Serbs & Croats agree to peace force: Carrington" The Age Melbourne 15 Nov 1991 (" ...talks with leaders of the republics of Serbia and Croatia and the head of the Serb-led Yugoslav army...Vukovar, Serbian forces were reported to be on the verge of seizing control of the city ...50,000 people are still trapped in Dubrovnik after days of shelling from sea and shore that have killed dozens of people and wrecked parts of the city ...UN or European forces would ... act as a buffer between the forces of both sides ...")
"EC nations urge early move on Croatia peace-keepers" The Age Melbourne 27 Nov 1991 ("Britain, France and Belgium today urged the UN Security Council to make an early decision ... the Croatian Government indicated a clear willingness to compromise on its previous insistence that UN troops should be placed only on the recognized border ... now prepared to accept Serbia's insistence on deployment in areas of conflict ... Osijek, which had come under renewed shelling as the Serb-run federal army moved towards it after seizing the nearby town of Vukovar. ...") "We Must Rescue Croatia: Will another six months of slaughter have to pass before serious action is taken by the West to force the Yugoslav Army out of Croatia?" Herald-Sun Melbourne 13 December 1991 ("We are witnessing, in the Yugoslav Army's operations in Croatia, the most savage act of military aggression seen in Europe since the end of World War II." ... "The dead are many. Estimates range from 2500 to 10,000. A large proportion are innocent civilians, almost all Croatian. Over 100,000 homes and as many as 200 Catholic churches have been reduced to rubble." ... "The Yugoslav Navy shells defenceless Croatian coastal cities at will. The Croatians have no navy or air force, or allies to call upon." ... "Liberal prejudice informs us that wherever there is a military conflict there must be two sides ... equally to blame. ... In the case of the present attack on Croatia, it cannot be emphasized too strongly, this is simply not true. The aggression launched by the Yugoslav Army was utterly unprovoked. " .. "the normally vociferous Australian peace movement has maintained for Croatia an uncharacteristic six-month-long vow of silence.)
"The World is Developing a Conscience" Globe & Mail Ottawa 29 Dec 1999 (re Seerbian General Galic arrest and siege of Sarajevo ... "We won't turn our heads anymore")
"Warcrimes court jails ex-Croatian general for 24 years on ethnic cleansing charges" Globe and Mail 15 April 2011
"The Lion The Fox and The Eagle: A story of generals and justice in Rwanda and Yugoslavia", by Carol Off Toronto 2002 (This book argues that The Hague court was indeed created to find justice in the face of the UN Peacekeeping failures,")
"The Hague Indictments: Analysis" Croatian Viewpoint website Melbourne 2000-2012
"UN court frees Croatian 'hero' generals" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16 Nov 2012
"Joy in Croatia as generals return" Herald-Sun Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"Serbia angry Croatian generals acquitted" Herald-Sun Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"UN court frees jailed Croatian generals" The Age Melbourne 17 Nov 2012
"Tribunal overturns convictions of Croat generals" Herald-Sun Melbourne 16Nov2012
"Croatia celebrates after Gotovina & Markac convictions overturned" The Australian Canberra 17 Nov 2012
"Croat generals get hero's welcome after UN tosses war crimes convictions" Toronto Star 16 Nov 2012
"UN court overturns convictions of two Croatian generals Vancouver Sun 17 Nov 2012
"Former PM of Croatia jailed for corruption" Globe & Mail 20 Nov 2012
"This Hague ruling sets dangerous precedents" The Globe & Mail Ottawa 28 Nov 2012
Jean Lunt Marinovic
November 2012
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